Saturday, 4 August 2012

Purple & Green

Once again due to the weather it wasn't possible to paint outdoors so the AVA group were again in St. Marys Church hall this last Thursday morning. As the forecast had been pretty poor I had already prepared two drawings of flower subjects the previous day. They were based on photographs I've taken recently and I decided to paint the oriental poppy I  photographed in Pats garden the previous Saturday. Its a simple composition but there is a lot to be said for simplicity.

15" x 11" Saunders Waterford Extra White 140lb not

I determined that I would adopt a very loose approach other than for the flower itself. I initially splashed clear water onto the paper in a random fashion, which was near vertical so that dribbles ran down to the bottom. For the flower, which I painted first I used Permanent Magenta (Rowney PV19), the violet shade of PV19. I previously masked out the anthers in the centre using Pebeo Drawing Gum and part of the centre itself. I then began to put in the green leaves that surrounded the flower in a loose manner which was helped by the wet paper. Hookers Green (Graham PG7/PY110), which is quite dark at full strength, was used for the darks but I softened the edges in places to get a balanced mixture of hard and soft edges. The other greens used were Sap Green (Daniel Smith PO49/PG7), a brighter green, and Green-Gold (Rowney PY129), a so-called two tone paint, which varies from light green to yellow when heavily diluted. 

Once the flower was dry I darkened certain areas as per the photograph with a stronger mix of Permanent Magenta, again softening the edges to avoid a `hard' look.  After this the rest of the green foliage was painted. I should say I `splashed' colour on at various times, some of which finished up on my face, spectacles and  right arm! I still have trouble getting splashes exactly where wanted. This caused some amusement and generally my fellow painters keep well clear when I'm in action. Finally I dropped some Primary Blue Cyan (Maimeri PB15-3 Green Shade) into the dark areas of the flower when still wet and let them blend.

At the very end I removed the masking fluid and finished off the stamens and centre with light use of white gouache.. Apart from the centre of the flower I only used one brush the Da Vinci Artissimo Series 44 Size 2 Kolinsky Mop, roughly equivalent to a size 14 round. The small brush for the centre was the Isabey Size 6 retractable which is small for a number 6, closer to a 4.

The colours of green and magenta are near compliments, not exactly so but I thought they work quite well together and was not displeased with the final result. The whole exercise, including the drawing took about 1 1/2 hours. I have another flower painting drawn up and Mick has set a flower painting, a hollyhock, as the August Challenge.


Mick Carney said...

Lovely image, beautifully handled.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. I as quite pleased when I did this one. My approach was quite casual and relaxed when I did it and that might have helped! It is pretty simple.

Laura Moore said...

It's always interesting to see how other artists work. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful combination of purples and greens. Lovely loose work.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Laura. I think the subject almost painted itself.

Keith Tilley said...

This painting is beautiful Peter. I'm sure the relaxed approach helped to produce a fresh-looking result.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Keith. I think achieving freshness is one of the keys, but it isn't as easy as it sounds because overworking (in my opinion) is the bane of watercolour artists.